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Department of Taxation and Finance

Congestion surcharge

The Tax Law imposes a surcharge that is added to the charge for transportation that:

  • both begins and ends in New York State, and that
  • begins in, ends in, or passes through the area of New York City in the borough of Manhattan, south of and excluding 96th Street (an area known as the congestion zone).

The surcharge must be collected beginning at 12:01 am on Saturday, February 2, 2019, and applies to transportation in vehicles that carry people for-hire, including:

  • vehicles commonly known as taxis,
  • vehicles commonly known as “green cabs,”
  • limousines,
  • black cars,
  • livery vehicles (including vehicles commonly known as community cars),
  • rideshare/transportation network company vehicles, and
  • pool vehicles. (For more information on pool vehicles, see TSB-M-18(1)CS, Congestion Surcharge in the New York City Congestion Zone)

The surcharge does not apply to the following:

  • transportation provided in connection with funerals;
  • transportation provided by a bus;
  • transportation provided by, or pursuant to a contract with, school districts;
  • transportation administered by or on behalf of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority; or
  • transportation by ambulance or ambulette.

Information

Generally, the person or entity that sends a vehicle (i.e., dispatches it) to a customer is responsible for the payment of the surcharge. This includes businesses and individuals that receive transportation requests directly from customers (as opposed to bases or third-party applications) and use their own vehicles to provide such transportation. This also includes transportation network companies, as defined in Vehicle and Traffic Law Article 44B. However, for rides provided by medallion taxicabs, the owner of the medallion that is affixed to the taxicab is responsible for the payment of the surcharge. Likewise, for rides provided by Hail vehicles that originate by street-hail, the base that the Hail vehicle is affiliated with is responsible for the payment of the surcharge.

Taxicab Medallion Agents: Agents cannot register or file on behalf of their clients using the agent's Online Services account, even if the agent represents multiple clients for the New York City taxicab ride tax. For purposes of the congestion surcharge, each client is required to register and file separately using the client's Business Online Services account. If clients would like their agent to submit a registration or file a return on their behalf, they may add their agent as a user to their Online Services account. For additional information on how to add a user (with specific permissions), see View videos and demos and choose Adding a User to a Business Account in the Online Services section. We may issue assessments to any client who fails to register or file individually.

Any person or entity who will be responsible for the payment of a surcharge on more than one trip in any calendar month must register with the New York State Tax Department by completing an online application and obtaining a certificate of registration, which will be valid for the specified term on the certificate and is subject to renewal. There is a $1.50 fee to register. There is also a $1.50 fee to renew a certificate of registration. You must have a Business Online Services account to register and pay the fee.

  1. Log in to your Business Online Services account.
  2. Select the ≡ Services menu in the upper left-hand corner of your Account Summary homepage.
  3. Select Other taxes, then select Congestion surcharge registration from the expanded menu.

For important payment information, see ACH debit block. 

Any person or entity who is responsible for the payment of the surcharge on no more than one trip in any calendar month is not required to register. Such person or entity, however, must file a return and pay any surcharge that is due when a surcharge liability is incurred. 

If the information reported on the current registration has changed, you are required to update your information on a calendar quarterly basis. There is no fee to update your registration.

Taxicab Medallion Agents: Agents cannot register or file on behalf of their clients using the agent's Online Services account, even if the agent represents multiple clients for the New York City taxicab ride tax. For purposes of the congestion surcharge, each client is required to register and file separately using the client's Business Online Services account. If clients would like their agent to submit a registration or file a return on their behalf, they may add their agent as a user to their Online Services account. For additional information on how to add a user (with specific permissions), see View videos and demos and choose Adding a User to a Business Account in the Online Services section. We may issue assessments to any client who fails to register or file individually.

The rate of the surcharge depends on the type of vehicle used to provide transportation in or through the congestion zone. The surcharge is generally:

  • $2.75 for each for-hire transportation trip in a vehicle that is not a medallion taxicab or a pool vehicle.
  • $2.50 per trip when the transportation is provided by a medallion taxicab vehicle.
  • $ 0.75 per pool trip.

The applicable surcharge amount is required to be passed through to passengers and separately stated on any receipt that is provided.   

Persons liable for the surcharge must use the Tax Department’s Congestion Surcharge Web File application to file monthly returns and pay the surcharge due. They must file returns and pay the surcharge due within 20 days after the end of the month for which the return covers. Persons registered for the surcharge must file a return even if they incurred no surcharges during a calendar month. In addition to any other applicable penalties and interest, any person that fails to timely pay a surcharge that is due will be subject to a penalty of 200% of the amount that is due. You must have a Business Online Services to file returns and pay the surcharge.

  1. Log in to your Business Online Services account.
  2. Select the ≡ Services menu in the upper left-hand corner of your Account Summary homepage.
  3. Select Other taxes, then select Congestion surcharge web file from the expanded menu.

For important payment information, see ACH debit block.

Persons or entities liable for the surcharge must keep records that are sufficient to determine whether the surcharge was properly applied, and must electronically transmit those records to the Tax Department upon request. This includes, but is not limited to, the following for all transportation that is subject to the surcharge:

  • Records of the location, date and time where each trip begins and ends, and of the route taken.
  • A record of the date, time and geographic location where the for-hire vehicle used for a trip enters and/or leaves the congestion zone, if applicable.
  • Records that identify pool trips, and the location, date and time where each individual or group that separately requests transportation enters and exits the vehicle.
  • Records of the vehicle used for the trip, including any number assigned to the vehicle by a regulatory agency or, if none exists, the vehicle’s license plate number and jurisdiction.
  • Records of all amounts charged and collected for the trip, including fare, taxes, and surcharges (including the congestion surcharge).
  • True and complete copies of any records that must be kept as required by any applicable regulatory department or agency.

Keep all records for a minimum of three years after filing a return to which those records relate, or from the date such return was due, whichever is later. In the absence of a filed return, the maintenance of records from earlier periods is required. 

Compliance with the above may be achieved by using a system or equipment that is required to be used in for-hire vehicles by a regulatory agency, so long as such system or equipment is capable of collecting, storing and electronically transmitting all required records and information.

Definitions

A bus is any motor vehicle with a seating capacity of at least 15 persons, excluding the driver, that does not otherwise qualify as a limousine. 

A Hail vehicle is a motor vehicle, commonly referred to as a “green cab,” that is affiliated with a base and authorized by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) to accept hails from prospective passengers in the streets of New York City, but which does not have a medallion issued by the TLC affixed to it. 

A limousine is any vehicle with a seating capacity of up to 14 persons, excluding the driver, and any vehicle with a seating capacity of between 15 and 20 persons, excluding the driver, that has only two axles and four tires. 

A medallion taxicab is a motor vehicle, commonly referred to as a “yellow cab,” that has a medallion issued by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission affixed to it.

The Tax Department is developing the online congestion surcharge monthly return; visit this webpage periodically for new information. To sign up for email updates, see Email services and subscribe to our Congestion surcharge email list.

For additional information

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